Many of us enjoy kayaking and all of its benefits. It’s fun, relaxing and great for your health. When preparing for your trip, you need to think about the equipment you’ll need while out on the water. Besides your standard kayaking essentials, one thing can be very handy in many situations – a kayaking knife. It doesn’t require much space and can be used to cut ropes or fishing lines, clean fish, cut wood, make an emergency shelter or free yourself if you get tangled or stuck.

However, not everyone has the same expectations when buying a knife. This is the main reason so many different designs are available. Products we selected for our list come with lots of different features for you to choose. Furthermore, if you want to be certain you’re getting the best kayaking knife, be sure to read the buying guide too.

How To Choose A Kayak Knife – Buying Guide


When choosing a knife, a few things need to be considered. It should be made from quality materials (both the blade and the handle) so it isn’t damaged easily since you’ll be using it outdoors. The blade must be strong and remain sharp for a long time. In addition, the knife should be handy to use. This means you need to pay attention to specific features that come with each product, so you find the one you’re most comfortable with. Only then can your knife become a reliable part of your survival gear, while still being able to perform all the regular tasks.

Folding or Fixed Blade

There are two main knife designs – a folding blade and a fixed blade. A folding blade means that the blade folds into the handle, which is commonly found in pocket knives. This type is easy to carry because it’s more compact than a fixed blade. It can also have neat features like assisted opening (for one-handed use), or a locking mechanism to prevent it from closing on your fingers. However, it’s not as strong as a fixed blade knife, and can be difficult to clean properly.

On the other hand, a fixed blade knife offers more strength, especially if it’s a full tang knife (steel runs through the handle). It’s generally more versatile, and often more comfortable to use thanks to the larger handle. It’s easier to clean too. However, it requires that you carry it in a sheath to prevent accidentally cutting or piercing yourself. There is also a third option that is useful outdoors – multi-tools. Besides a blade, these come with additional tools such as pliers, scissors, wire-cutters or screwdrivers. However, the blade is not as strong, and the handle can be uncomfortable to hold.

Blade Material

All kayaking knives we featured have steel blades. Two types of steel are most commonly used – high carbon steel and stainless steel. High carbon steel gives exceptional strength, sharpens easier and holds an edge longer. On the other hand, the material can be brittle under large pressure and is prone to rusting. As for stainless steel, you don’t have to worry about corrosion. This means you can safely use it for saltwater kayaking or as a camping knife. However, it’s tougher to sharpen and gets dull faster. Regardless of which material you choose, make sure it’s always sharp so you can cut lines, ropes or wood without problems.


Cleaning the knife properly ensures it will last longer. It’s recommended to rinse your paddling knife with fresh water after using it, and then dry it properly to you decrease the chance of rusting. In addition, you should oil the blade after cleaning and wipe off the excess oil. You should also buy a sharpener and use it when you notice that the knife isn’t efficient. Some knives come dull out of the box, so this is very useful to have. As we mentioned, folding knives require more maintenance, because of the construction and a lot of small spaces where dirt can get in. A properly maintained knife is an indispensable part of any kayaking or fishing trip checklist.

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Q: Why Do I Need A Kayak Knife?


A tool as versatile as a knife can have many uses even in a kayak. Even though the main purpose is to improve the kayak safety and help you rescue yourself, you can also cut ropes or shock cords, slice food or prepare kindling if you need a fire while taking a break (don’t forget to bring a survival lighter too). Knives don’t require much space when packing, and you won’t even notice them most of the time. It’s just a matter of time you find yourself in a situation when you’ll be glad you packed it.

Q: What Is A Better Option A Folding Or Fixed Blade?


This mainly depends on where and how you’ll be using the knife on your kayak adventure. As we mentioned earlier, fixed blades are usually much tougher. They’re a good choice for survival situations, cutting wood or when preparing your lunch. On the other hand, you can put a folding blade in your pocket, it generally weighs less and it will be more suited if you need some precision work done. We can’t really say which the best kayak knife type is, because this mainly comes down to your personal preference.

Globo Surf Overview

A well-made knife is a great asset to have. Buying one usually isn’t a big load on your budget, especially considering what you get in return. It will be very useful not just for kayaking, but for other outdoor activities too – hiking for example. You can be confident that each product we suggested is going to be reliable and long-lasting. It’s up to you to choose your favorite, but we’re sure you won’t be disappointed!

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Have you tried a kayak knife that made it onto our list? How are you satisfied with its efficiency in different situations? What about durability? Please share your experience with us in the comment section below.